Its that time of year! I really like Campbell's bean and bacon soup but wanted to make a homemade version and this is it! Smells so good while cooking! One of my favorite soups! So good! *You can freeze this too.
Soak the bag of navy beans in water for 3 hours (or overnight).
Drain & rinse beans and add 9 cups of low salt chicken broth in a large pot.
In a fry pan, melt the stick butter & saute the chopped onion, 4 chopped carrots and celery. When the onion starts to caramelize, dump it all into the pot of beans & chicken stock.
Now, I take the pound of bacon and cut it down the middle in half. Use only half the pound, then fry the half pieces until almost crisp, drain on paper towels and throw the whole half pieces in the pot. Add 2 dashes of liquid smoke. Cover and simmer for 4 hours or so until thick and beans are tender. (the reason I do this is because I do not like the texture of bacon when cooked in a soup but I want the flavor soooo when it is done cooking, I take the half pieces out of the soup and discard) I fry up extra bacon to crispy and garnish the soup with it just before serving it so it stays crunchy while I eat it. I do stir it in at this point.
Now, if you do not mind the texture of the bacon in the soup, just chop the bacon in small pieces and fry, drain on paper towels and add to the soup. Add 2 dashes of liquid smoke. Cover and simmer the 4 hours or so until the beans are tender and the soup is thick. Serve.
If you double this recipe, double everything except the Chicken broth. Use 10-12 cups of broth for doubling if you like a thick soup. I promise, you won't need more. If you like it a little more soupy, add more broth.